Beit Zeinab Al Khatoun is a small but interesting Ottoman-era house with a rooftop affording superb views of the surrounding minaret-studded skyline. The courtyard has a traditional ahwa, much frequented by young Cairenes. The house is on a little piazza at the end of a narrow street behind the Al Azhar Mosque.
Across the plaza, Beit Al Harrawi is another fine 18th-century mansion, but its sparse interior isn’t worth the entry fee. Both houses are often used as concert venues, and Beit Al Harrawi is home to the Arabic Oud House, a music school; at night it’s often open and you can wander in for free.